Seminar: Estimating attributable deaths from short-term pollution effects

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Seminar: Estimating attributable deaths from short-term pollution effects

March 23, 2023 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

DATE:  March 23, 2023

TIME: 1:00pm – 2:00pm (in-person in NYSDEC CO Conf-919 & webinar via remote connection).

TITLE: Estimating attributable deaths from short-term pollution effects: differential air pollution impact on cause-specific mortality from multiple pollutants

PRESENTER:  Ariel Spira-Cohen, PhD; Senior Environmental Epidemiologist, Bureau of Environmental Surveillance and Policy, NYC DOHMH

ABSTRACT: Health impact assessment (HIA) is a common policy tool that quantifies health burden from air pollution under different policy scenarios. Most HIAs consider health impacts using risk estimates from single-pollutant models, leaving uncertainty about varying impacts from multiple air pollutants. Pollution attributable fractions (AFs) and attributable counts (ACs) of mortality were estimated from single- and co-pollutant daily time-series models and a multipollutant Total Risk Index (TRI) considering citywide average concentrations of PM2.5, NO2 and warm season ozone in NYC (2005-2019). We examined effects on total non-external mortality as well as major mortality sub-causes. We found that PM2.5 was more important for cardiovascular deaths, ozone for respiratory deaths, and NO2 for total non-external and cancer deaths, with ~670 total non-external deaths on average attributed to NO2 annually. Annual average ACs from the full year TRI model (PM2.5 + NO2) was similar (~680 deaths). Co-pollutant models showed that NO2 ACs were more robust than PM2.5 ACs, which diminished greatly. When summing ACs from co-pollutant models, the summed ACs approximated the largest AC from either pollutant modeled alone. We also examined annual pollution ACs over time and found a reduction in PM-attributable deaths (~57% for total non-external deaths and ~62% for CVD mortality) consistent with a~55% decline in annual PM2.5 concentrations in NYC during the study period. While NO2 ACs also declined consistent with a ~40% decline in NO2 concentrations, they still contribute to more deaths per year than PM2.5. Ozone concentrations have not declined and ozone ACs remained stable over time. Continuing to reduce local NO2 emissions (i.e., from traffic and buildings), may be most impactful in reducing pollution-associated mortality in NYC. Persistent ozone levels from regional source emissions remains a challenge.

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Seminar is organized by:

BAQAR: Bureau of Air Quality Analysis and Research of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Division of Air Resources (DAR)

NYSERDA: NYS Energy Research and Development Authority


March 23, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
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